Reducing waste through the re-use and repair of old products

Old but reusable things often end up in the trash. The CERREC project in Central Europe has been working to change that by nurturing the development of re-use and repair centres to reduce waste and benefit the environment.

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Store at the Ho&Ruck re-use centre in Innsbruck, Austria. © CERREC Store at the Ho&Ruck re-use centre in Innsbruck, Austria. © CERREC

" CERREC has definitely provided a boost to all participating central European countries for the implementation of the EU’s Waste Framework Directive regarding ‘preparation for re-use’. Effective structures were initiated in order to make re-use accessible for citizens and authorities. "

Mag. Christian Leonhartsberger, Municipal Waste Management Association Mid-Tyrol

The Central Europe Re-use and Repair Centres and Networks project (CERREC), which began in 2011, helps partners and local authorities to foster the re-use of a variety of common products by providing tools, knowledge, and a transnational re-use platform for communication.

National and regional authorities can take advantage of a toolbox consisting of quality standards, guidelines, accreditation procedures, manuals, strategies and good practice examples. Special emphasis in this toolbox is placed on areas such as communication, the allocation of roles and responsibilities between participating actors in re-use networks, and the building of customer acceptance and trust.

The transnational cooperation platform on re-usable products, also developed by CERREC, includes a Good Practice Database to assist local authorities with implementing their own pilot projects. Furthermore, CERREC supports the creation of regional and national actions plans for re-use.

Three pillars of sustainability

By encouraging the re-use of old products such as electronic equipment, textiles, and furniture, CERREC produces benefits along three pillars of sustainability:

  • Environmental benefits such as waste reduction, and energy and resource efficiency by extending product lifetimes.
  • Economic benefits such as the creation of green jobs within the re-use process chain. In the short term, it is estimated that CERREC will create between five and ten jobs in each participating country from the implementation of the project. In the mid to long term, this figure rises to more than 50 jobs per country.
  • Social benefits such as providing affordable and high quality goods to people, particularly for those with low incomes.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Central Europe Re-use and Repair Centres and Networks” is EUR 2 898 288, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 2 269 713 from the Operational Programme “CENTRAL EUROPE” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date